March 20, 2008
What would happen if an Irresistible Force met an Immovable Object?
Last year, I purchased the Land Down Under Toob for Arun last year and it came with the little fella you see above. Arun called him "Daddy" for awhile. While X was mildly amused, I thought it was hilarious because besides not being Aboriginal, X is not even nearly as dark as that dude. So, I would giggle maniacally, which only served to encourage Arun even further. Naturally, Arun has always noticed darker guys and has usually been drawn to them. And I think it is sweet.
I have always thought it painfully trite to claim that "children do not see color" because truthfully, kids do see color - they simply do not assign a value to it. It does hurt me to know that someday, my children will encounter someone who cannot hide the fact that they think their father is a lesser person simply because his skin is darker and his passport foreign. It will be one of many disappointments in their lives that I will not be able to prevent.
But it begs a another question - what race will my children consider themselves to be? I doubt they will jump on the Indian Rickshaw of Ethnicity, but I hope that they at least harbor a sentimentality for their heritage - much as I do for things of the Irish and Scottish persuasion. It helps that my smoochy love affair with the Indian subcontinent of Asia began in 1989 and is still going strong - I am very excited to share that affection for India with my children. The fact that they both house some spicy, curried DNA of their very own only makes it all the more important for me to do so.
Recently, I was filling out some forms for Anjali for her pediatric dermatology appointment (she has sensitive skin and we needed to rule out eczema, which we did.*relief!*) On the form, there was a blank for "race" and I was puzzled as to what I should write. I wanted to simply write "American", but the form was medical and that would not have helped Anjali at all. So, I wrote "White/Asian Indian".
I am aware that many folks in America will never consider my kids "white" simply because they are mixed. I realize that most Indians will not even consider my kids to be "Indian". In the grand scheme, it is not such a big deal, I do not think. I love that my children are exactly what it means to be American. And besides, their father is living the American Dream - lock, stock, and barrel.
A few weeks ago, our Indian friend S from Boston became a US citizen. I was absolutely thrilled for her. No, I am not going to drone on about how this is the best country in the world blabbity blah blah. Actually, I am beginning to suspect the best country in the world is Sweden. But alas,, I would not want to live in Sweden. I would rather live here. Because this is still a pretty cool spot in which to live.
Okay...Okay.... I do not see all of us joining hands across America and singing in harmony as we drink our bottles of Coca-Colas. However, I would still argue that this country is a kinder, gentler country in which one can be "melted".